With her fingers digging into his wet body, Gretchen sets herself down on the fox’s back. The horses, seemingly hellbent on chasing the night into the mouth of oblivion, disappear among the moving trees ahead. The fox, small as he is, gallops so fast that Gretchen has to wrap her arms around his neck to stop herself from falling off. The earth beneath its paws is a squishy sea of mud. Slipping and sliding as if running on ice, the mud splashes both their faces, but the speed at which he races towards the light doesn’t diminish, and even though the mud almost blinds them, they go even faster. Soon catching up on the animals ahead, the fox sniffs and snorts as the thunderous din from the trees booms as loud as the thunder that now haunts some other time and place. Gretchen can’t make out any of the words coming from the trees, but their voices rage with such intensity that she knows in her bones they must be conversing with some higher power born on distant shores. Giggling at how wonderful it all is, she wipes the mud from her face and reaches out her hand. Spreading her fingers through the choppy, cold air as the fox pounds the uneven ground, she touches the fur of a passing deer. The deer reminds her of Bambi. She saw the movie not long ago and cried when Bambi got shot. Even with her father telling her it wasn’t real, her tears only ceased when sleep pulled her under. Turning to face her, the eyes of the deer are as big as the moon that kisses both their noses. The creature—much the same as her—appears both terrified and in a state of wild exhilaration, and for a second, they exchange a look that lasts for what feels like an eternity. Before she can speak to it though, the dear veers in another direction and never again in her life, or dreams, do their paths collide again.
X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK
X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US
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